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My Miss Aurelia Overcomes Stumble in Mandy's Gold

My Miss Aurelia and jockey Julien Leparoux win the Mandys Gold at Saratoga Race Course

Undefeated champion My Miss Aurelia made a triumphant return to the races Wednesday afternoon at Saratoga Race Course, overcoming a stumbling start and going on to a three-length victory over Delightful Quality in the $100,000 Mandys Gold overnight stakes.

Making her first start since winning the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies last November at Churchill Downs, My Miss Aurelia spotted her five 3-year-old rivals a couple of lengths after bobbling at the start, but quickly made up ground as they traveled down the backstretch. Asked for run on the turn by jockey Julien Leparoux, the bay Smart Strike filly powered to the fore at the head of the lane and drew clear without being urged.

“She was running so comfortably,” said Leparoux. “I was very confident.”

My Miss Aurelia’s winning time for the 6 ½ furlongs was 1:15.90 as she returned to the site of her first two career victories. Sent off as the 1-4 favorite, she returned $2.50 for a $2 win bet and extended her record to five wins in as many starts.

“It’s amazing how special she truly is,” said Steve Asmussen, who trains My Miss Aurelia for Stonestreet Stable and George Bolton. “The memories of her running last year were great. When she came back into the barn and we started training her and breezing her … you’re hoping to have horses who are who she is. What a joy she is to be around.”

Named for Bolton’s mother, Aurelia, My Miss Aurelia won her first start at Saratoga last July and became a stakes winner later in the meet when she annexed the Grade 2 Adirondack. She followed that with a victory in the Grade 1 Frizette at Belmont Park prior to the Juvenile Fillies, but missed the first half of 2012 with a minor shin problem. She returned to training in May.

“Her works this year have been amazing,” said Asmussen. “I think she’ll have a huge year … we’ll see how she comes back and speak to George and [Stonestreet owner] Barbara [Banke] and see where we go.”

Among the upcoming options for 3-year-old fillies at the Spa is the Grade 1, $500,000 Test run at seven furlongs on August 25.

“We always like racing at Saratoga, so it would be a nice thing to do if we can get her back here,” said Banke. “It might be a little quick, but possibly.”


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